We decided a while back to go for a family outing to the Johannesburg Zoo. We hopped in HIS Tiida and off we went for a day of fun with the animals. When we arrived we parked in the far corner of the parking lot.

The Johannesburg Zoo is really a great place. The animals look happy and in good condition and it is also a very clean zoo. For anyone visiting, and you need the bathroom, be sure to use the one by the Tiger enclosure. We discovered it quite by accident, but it was quite an experience to be sitting on the thrown and have a tiger pass your window…only thing separating the two of you is a thick piece of glass.

Tiger outside the toilet at JHB Zoo

Anyway we left the zoo and headed back home later that afternoon.

The following day one of my staff, Dirk Schaap, asked me why did I only have two hubcaps on HIS Tiida? I thought he was joking but he was serious, he said that the passenger side hubcaps were missing. I went down to the basement and yup only hubcaps on the car were on the drivers side…someone had decided they wanted Nissan Tiida hubcaps…

I called up the local Nissan dealer and asked the spares chap how much 2x Nissan Tiida hub caps would cost. He looked it up on the computer and said politely R783,00 EACH! Yes, let me repeat that – R783,00 E-A-C-H! I asked him to double check the price and he confirmed it was correct.

Now one of the articles that I had read on HelloPeter.com when we were researching issues on the Nissan Tiida’s ironically brought up an incident where a person had hired a car from a rental company and had lost a hub cap and was quoted – yes R783,66 for a replacement one. Read the incident here.

I called my brother-in-law Pierre and told him how I suspected that someone had stolen the 2 hubcaps at the Zoo, and asked if he could keep an eye open for hubcaps at scrapyards in Port Elizabeth, as I was NOT going to buy new.

How’s this for irony… that evening my brother-in-law pointed out that the Zoo had aired an appeal for donations on a local TV program called 50/50. Sharp as ever he said that I had obviously been very generous in donating 2x R783,00 hub caps to the cause… 🙂

Well at least this story had a happy ending. Pierre kindly went scrapyard hopping and managed to pick up a complete set of hub caps that looked identical to mine and paid R500 for the set.

He brought it up with him when they came to visit. I have marked them inside with permanent marker stating “Reward If Found and Returned to Michael Scanlen – (and my phone number)”, it they ever happen to find themselves off the car.

Like I said this story has a happy ending. HIS Tiida has four hub caps that are now cable tied to the car…and the zoo got their donation.